As part of our #LearnIn campaign we are interviewing successful learners for our '#Leanin to Learning' podcast show. This week we chatted to Michelle Chandler of Rocket Marketing Solutions, who made friends and colleagues as a result of training and expanded her professional network. Read Michelle's take on how learning has enabled her to develop supportive relationships and to grow her own, flexible freelance career and head over to listen to the episode with Michelle, to hear more.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – or so the saying goes.
I think the reality is that both are important, but since I graduated from Digital Mums just over a year ago, I have really learnt the value of having a good network.
Whilst my peer group were my invaluable support network throughout the 6 months of intensive social media training, one of the best things about graduating from Digital Mums was getting access to the fantastic #DMcollective – a group of around 1500 amazing women who have completed the course and have a wealth of knowledge and experience about all things digital.
The great thing about Digital Mums is that they bring together so many like-minded people: mums who have years of work experience, but are struggling to find a job that fits around their family commitments. There are millions of us out there and Digital Mums are playing a really important role in giving us options for flexible work that unfortunately don’t seem to exist in the corporate world.
I am currently working with Kerry Alexander, who runs Alexander Media, and whom I met through my Digital Mums peer group – we now work together managing the Marketing and Social Media for Mini First Aid.
We’ve been working together for almost a year now and it has been brilliant! I manage the overall marketing & social media strategy and the content calendar (as well as some PPC with Google Ads), whilst Kerry does all the day to day content creation, social media posts and social listening/engagement. Kerry understood the business straight away, and I was confident in recommending her to my client, as I knew she was a great social media manager from the campaigns I had seen her run during the course.
We both work from home (in Leeds and Northern Ireland respectively), but have weekly Marketing meetings with Mini First Aid HQ using Google Hangouts. We’ve managed to deliver some great results – we have almost trebled their social media followers in the last 12 months, through almost exclusively organic content, as we hardly run any paid ads. In February, we reached almost 2m people on Facebook due to some great created and curated content which really resonated with the parents who follow Mini First Aid.
Our client is really happy too - Kate, the founder and Director of Mini First Aid, said:
"It has been great having Michelle and Kerry managing our social media over the last 12 months. They quickly understood our business and developed a social media strategy which has grown our followers and reach significantly. They have played a huge role in the growth of Mini First Aid and we are delighted to have two Digital Mums working for us."
The #DMcollective really is the most amazing source of information and expertise. To have 1500 experts available pretty much 24/7 on your phone is a priceless resource and, for me, one of the key benefits of being a Digital Mums graduate.
If I ever have a question about social media (or actually most other subjects too!), there is always someone online who is able to answer really quickly. There is a great ethos within the group of helping one other and it’s just a great place to hang out.
I’ve used the #DMcollective numerous times – recently, I needed some expert help with the Google Ads I was running, so I found a specialist in the Collective (Gemma Cooper) who did an account audit for me and gave me loads of advice on how to optimise the account.
We have also called upon other Digital Mums to help us upskill the 60+ Mini First Aid franchisees on social media so that they can grow their own accounts. Cathy from Socially Contented ran a Facebook Ads workshop for us in March, and Gemma from Social Mums is currently running an online course for our franchisees to complement the training and support that Kerry and I provide.
Networking can be a bit of a dirty word sometimes, but one of the things I love about social media is the connections it allows you to make with people all over the world. I have connected with so many mums like me who are looking for an alternative to the 9-5 working day and it’s great to see so many women supporting and helping one another to succeed.
Shout out to the #DMcollective – you are awesome!"
If you are interested in leaning into learning and benefitting from our amazing Digital Mums community, then head over to our Work That Works Academy to see our latest courses - including the free ones! We've just opened admissions for the September cohort of the Foundation in Social Media Marketing and there's an exclusive online community for all those taking part in this course. PLUS, until August 2nd, we're offering a special summer price of £299 as part of our manifesto to get 1m mums learning.